23 May 2015

Link it: Sunscreen Guide

(last summer...hats, sunnies, and long-sleeve layers)

We are entering the Summer months and although our Memorial Day weekend is starting off a bit chilly, tomorrow it will be much warmer and we are thinking of heading to the Crane Beach for the morning. I love going to the beach and I love spending as much of the Summer outside but my skin is not cut out for it. Thanks to my Scots-Irish descent I have fair skin that I loving passed onto Oliver. And it also looks like Huck too may have more my complexion than Matt who has more of a sun-loving olive tone complexion. Needless to say whether you have a darker or lighter complexion sunscreen is a must and in our house that generally means a high SPF of 50. 

In the past, I have used a multitude of different brands; from Coppertone to Neutrogena to Philosophy. And in general I thought I could trust the reputation of a company and believe that their products were protecting me and my family. That was until I found EWG's 2015 Guide to Sunscreens. This website lists both the Best and Worst Sunscreens on the market. And there on the hall of shame were two products (Coppertone Sport High Performance and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist) that I used often last summer; both on myself and Oliver. They are all going into the rubbish and we are starting fresh with a couple of brands that are trusted and we have used as well; Babyganics for Oliver and for Matt and I we are going to be slathering ourselves in Supergoop.  So before you head outside into the sunshine check out the list and you can even search for a brand if you do not see it listed and it will outline why that is a good or bad option.

Be smart and keep your skin protected because there are few things worse than going to the beach to have fun and coming home with a sunburn.  



20 May 2015

20/52


Are we seeing a theme with Huck photos? But who can resist an adorable picture of a sleeping baby? Not I. Yesterday, when Oliver came home from school the first thing he wanted to was hold Huck. Heart melt. We are doing our best to try to get into the swing of things around here and let me tell you our friends are fantastic. People have brought us yummy dinners and offered to take and pickup Oliver from school. Remember that post I wrote about "help", well let me tell you I am happy to have the assistance. The projected weather also looks to be nice and springy so I am looking forward to some longer walks in the coming weeks. 

snuggling. we are working on how much is too much and when he has crossed into the smother with love category.  

My friend, Deanna (who has a blog of her own) took these shots of all of the big kids at a BBQ we had on Sunday. Oliver was so thrilled to see all of his buddies and it looks like everyone had a smashing good time. 

goofballs.

boys club. 

girls club. 
but in reality they all play so nicely together. it is such fun to see all of the kids in the neighborhood grow and change together. lots of wonderful memories being made. 

the new morning routine. baby love and coffee. 


19 May 2015

Wes Anderson...Who wants to go to Milano?!

Perhaps it is because I am feeling a wee bit stir crazy getting settled with Huck and recovering from my c-section but when I saw this article I sort of started planning fantastical trips in my head to Milano and sit my rear down this cafe, Bar Luce that Wes Anderson designed. I love Wes Anderson. I love his cinematic style, everything in a lovely muted palette and all his films are shot in a very symmetrical manner which to me is very aesthetically pleasing. Filled with vintage table and old-school pinball machines, Bar Luce is Art Deco perfection. It is just what you would expect from the director of The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel. So who is with me? A cappuccino con doppio for me and perhaps a fabulously, whimsical outfit...see I told you my brain is going crazy. 






18 May 2015

19/52

Well, it is a whole new ballgame over at our house. And consequently new addition to the 52 project; Mr. Huck. I have been doing the 52 project with Oliver for the past couple of years and it has been a way to keep me writing down some bits and bobs on this blog as well as having an annual collection of snapshots which I have printed into neat little Instagram friendly books on Artifact Uprising. So now there are TWO kiddos to document! To say that these last few days have been a whirlwind is a bit of an understatement but we are starting to feel our way through the bumps and sharp corners that come along with bringing a newborn into a house with a 4 1/2 year old. 

Oliver has overall been doing a pretty darn good job considering his little life has been turned topsy turvy. He adores Huck. But he is also very emotional and has been quick to both anger and melt into a puddle over small things; such as Legos not being built properly or when Mama mis-reads a page in a well-loved book. I know all of this is a natural reaction and heck I too have been riding the waves of emotions. We are trying to do our best to praise him for all of the good and try to explain when he is being naughty or not listening. School and friends have become an even more important aspect of his day and I am going to take him out for a Mama+Oliver date tonight to a little Greek spot down the street. Moving forward this will become our new normal and I know we just have everyone time to adjust. 

Huck is a pretty darn good baby. He is generally in good spirits and only gets really cranky when hungry (which is often) or his diaper is dirty. We had some lovely neighborhood friends over yesterday (most of whom thought we were a bit mad for hosting a BBQ) and Huck did beautifully with the boisterous noise and fun happening around him. It was nice to see our friends and play pass the sweet baby around. I know a lot of people like to hunker down but it felt way more normal and enjoyable to be in the company of friends on a beautiful day. 

brotherly love. these are the moments that I have to remember when things get a little crazy. It is awe-inspiring to see how tender and loving Oliver can be towards Huck. It makes me downright giddy to know that I have the privilege of watching them grow and change as a pair. 

camera ham. 

beautiful day to take the whole family out for a short-Mama is still recovering from her c-section walk around the block. Oliver loved his cool rider board and Huck, well he just slept through the whole micro-adventure. 


16 May 2015

Henry Sylvan

On May 12, 2015 at 11:02am we welcomed our second son Henry Sylvan to our family. He is a sweet, easy going albeit hungry baby! We are settling in at home and getting to know the newest member of our family. There is a whole mess of photos that follow so have a look through if you want to see Huck as he joined our family.

07 May 2015

a good read.


Today I had the pleasure of going out and grabbing a coffee with my friend and nearly next door neighbor, Caroline. We talked about a bunch of things including delinquent AC repair men and baby sleep schedules (she is an amazing mom to four kids, most recently twin boys!).  And one topic that we settled on for a bit was help; asking for help, declining help and all of the variations in between.  Now don't get me wrong, help is great when you have a new baby or in Caroline's case two new babies but you also need to be able to find your own path as well. There needs to be a balance.  

So it seemed rather fortuitous when I came across an blog piece on Coffee + Crumbs that was discussing precisely what we had been chatting about; "asking for help." For the most part I completely agree with the perspective of the article in that women in general forget to reach out and ask for help: "So many women are hiding in their house trying to hold it all together for fear of appearing weak or needy. They're not asking, even when they're desperate." But after talking to Caroline it seems that in order for that help to be fruitful and successful you also have to use the power of no, and have people respect you when you just need a little space or time. 

I have the pleasure of meeting my new baby next Tuesday and many delightful women (and men) in my life have already reached out with offers of help and I know that I will be leaning on people in a different way than I have before.  I am so grateful for our little neighborhood community and I hope that I too am able to foster a balance between the yes's and the no's. 

The last bit of the article really hit home: "There's still a lot about motherhood I haven't figured out, but I do know this: we cannot do this alone. So start saying yes in the grocery store line. Start asking for a hand when yours are full [...] And please stop telling yourself you have it all together, because none of us do. Isn't that so freeing?" 

So here is to helping each other and being respectful of each other and growing with each other as we navigate the trickiest, most fulfilling and crazy job on the planet; motherhood.

P.S. happy mother's day on Sunday

image via Farmgirl Flowers


06 May 2015

18/52

well here we are at a bit of a cross roads. next week we will have our new family member. wow, I just wrote that. as I sit here writing around my robust belly I still have a hard time imagining holding a new baby. everything is going to shift. we are ready, I think. I suppose you are never really ready until you are doing it. But I certainly hope that Oliver will roll with the punches as we navigate these new and at times bumpy waters. 

I mean look at that face! I love him so very much. 

He has been quite snuggly, especially since he was sick for the past four days. All he has wanted is to snuggly, read books and eat homemade juice popsicles. 

Such a big boy waiting for our lunch at Clover Food Lab. He always wants to sit where they cut the french fries.

Candle pin bowling with friends over last weekend. So much fun. 

great form, Oliver! haha. 

very focused and intent. 

still a boy in a box with some markers is a great way to pass an afternoon. 

here we are. 6 days until go time. my shirts do not fit so well.